My childhood memories of the Fourth conjure up cool evenings and hundreds of fireworks — simulated bombs bursting in air in all their Francis Scott Key splendor. Every year this experience occurred with religious fervor, as my three brothers, mom, and dad, and even the family dog piled into the family sedan and the drove off to the nearest park to watch the fireworks.
In the early 1970s my family had a large boat-like convertible. With the top down, we’d park on a hill and overlook a larger region, taking in multiple fireworks displays. This spectacle was dazzling for young kids.
Every part of the early experience was fired by gasoline, powered by petroleum, or involved gunpowder and various chemicals. Quick flashes of light are created from the pop of gunpowder and the eye-burning bright flash from burning magnesium powder. Green colors are from powdered copper that is impregnated on paper that is wrapped into the firework. As the fuse burns the fire encounters each of the impregnated papers, and each gives off the various colors as they ignite, associated with the unique colo... Read more